Southwest Chicken Salad {Please Comment and Help Me Win a Recipe Contest!}


When Jen asked me to be part of a virtual BBQ I thought it sounded like fun, however, the part about contributing an original recipe using Philadelphia Cooking Creme sounded a little scary. In some areas I’m as creative as the next girl, but in others I’m a rule follower, or a recipe follower in this case. I don’t wing it and I don’t invent my own recipes.

Until this Southwest Chicken Salad! 

I enjoyed the process of creating the recipe in my head and then pulling it together, juggling quantities and proportions until the reality equaled my imagination. At the bottom of this post you’ll find links to all nine participants in this virtual BBQ: visit them for more summer picnic ideas.

The post with the most comments TODAY ONLY wins $500 and a year’s worth of Philadelphia Cooking Creme. Voting is only open for 24 hours and I would truly appreciate your comment on this post!

Let’s begin:



My recipe evolved as it progressed, so the original ingredient picture needs editing. I’ll explain the changes as I go.


First, drizzle four boneless skinless chicken breasts with olive oil (spreading it on both sides) and bake them at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. While they’re cooking, prep the other ingredients. (Update: I usually sprinkle chili powder on the chicken breasts before baking.)

ripe avocado chart

It’s been a while since I’ve bought avocados and mine (the green ones in the ingredients picture) weren’t ripe. If you’re unsure about selecting avocados, look the chart above (click it for more info) or those perfectly ripe beauties in the picture below. (Yes, I went back to the store for more. They’re worth it!)



Cut the avocados in half vertically and scoop out the pit with a spoon. The peel of a ripe avocado comes off easily and the inside is slightly mushy, slightly firm. Chop it into chunks and put them in a small mixing bowl.



Slice the kernels off of three ears of fresh, uncooked corn and toss them in a medium bowl.

Usually I make chicken salad with celery and grapes: I love the crunch of the first and the sweetness of the second. Fresh corn provides both the crunch and the sweetness of those ingredients, which I omitted in this southwest version.

It’s my recipe and I can cry omit if I want to.




Slice and dice the chicken and a red onion and mix with the corn.


Snip fresh cilantro and add to the avocado for extra kick. I used about 2/3 of the little cup that you see in the ingredients photo on top.



Add one container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend and half a cup of sour cream to the avocados and cilantro and gently stir. Don’t mash those lovely chunks of avocado!

Pour it over the chicken/corn/onion mixture and stir until coated. Spoon a generous portion over lettuce on a croissant, or however you like to eat your chicken salad.




My 10-year-old son (not the one pictured) said, “It looks like throw up, but it tastes like something from heaven.” That’s about the best compliment I could hope for from a self-proclamed hater of chicken salad. He also said, “It’s very good. You could easily win.”

Help me prove him right?

The post with the most comments wins $500 and your comment on this post equals a vote for my recipe!

4.7 from 62 reviews
Southwest Chicken Salad
Recipe type: Main
Chicken salad with a southwest flair!
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 carton Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend
  • 3 ears fresh corn
  • 1 red onion
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • cilantro, to taste
  1. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle chili powder over chicken breasts (spreading it on both sides) and bake them at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
  2. Cut avocados in half, remove pit, peel, and then chop into chunks and put in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Slice the kernels off of fresh, uncooked corn and toss them in a medium bowl.
  4. Slice and dice the chicken and red onion and mix with the corn.
  5. Snip fresh cilantro and add to the avocado.
  6. Add Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend and sour cream to the avocados and cilantro and gently stir.
  7. Pour it over the chicken/corn/onion mixture and stir until coated.
  8. Spoon over lettuce on a croissant, or however you like to eat your chicken salad.
  9. Enjoy!

Come join our Virtual Summer BBQ, hosted by Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Enjoy browsing these great recipes.

Lemon Berry Cheesecake Bars – Saving Dollars and Sense
Creamy Potato Salad – Mommy Hates Cooking
Creamy Italian Pasta Salad – Life in Grace
Southwest Chicken Salad – My Home Sweet Home
Creamy Bacon and Tomato Potato Salad – Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
Creamy BLT Pasta Salad with Pesto Sauce – 4Tunate
Shrimp Campanelle Salad – The Peaceful Mom
Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dip – Saving with Shellie
Philly Creamy Deviled Eggs – Smockity Frocks


  1. Jo says

    I am a new reader to your blog and just came across this yummy looking recipe! I pinned it so I could try it out! I thought I would leave a comment and see if I can help you win! The salad looks amazing (and I love the comment from your son about it looking like throw up but tasting like heaven! That is so funny!) Good luck!

  2. Kelly @ Wisdom Begun says

    I am definitely going to have to try this out. Have never used the cooking cream before, so this will be a first. Looks delicious!

  3. Brenda Perez says

    Thanks for a great recipe idea, Dawn. I do love the Philadelphia Cooking Creams, but I am sure am tired of the chicken enchilada idea. This sounds great and pretty easy. And I think it looks quite elegant on the pretty croissant.

  4. Jill Chandler says

    Looks Yummy! I love Philly’s flavored cream cheeses, and now I have a new flavor to try! :)

  5. says

    Oh this does sound like heaven! I LOVE avocados, the rest of my family do not… but that just means more for me! I also love chicken salad sandwiches… I will be trying this one for sure!

    Good luck!
    Angel´s last [post] ..Building UP… and Link up!

  6. Sharon says

    Looks yummy! I’ll definitely have to try this one. Beautiful photography and step-by-step instructions.

  7. says

    This sounds delicious!!! Thanks for creating and sharing! I love the idea about using the croissant; that seems like it would just send the whole sandwich over the top! Great idea! :)

  8. says

    Absolutely yummy looking! I must try that soon!!! I’ve never bought the Philly cooking cream, but will put it on my list. ;) You post is cute and made me smile with the avacados! LOL
    Shannon Wallace´s last [post] ..Resting

  9. says

    OH my goodness… chicken salad has never looked so delicious. Your recipe and photos have my mouth watering Dawn!! Seriously. Need this for lunch today! :)
    Jennifer_Studio JRU´s last [post] ..we are.

  10. Shirlee says

    This recipe sounds delicious! My son and hubby are big fans of anything south western. I will have to try this recipe as part of our Memorial Day celebrations!

  11. Theda Hardy says

    This sounds wonderful! I love Southwestern/Mexican dishes and this sounds like a great “cool” one for the summertime. Can’t wait to try it out.

  12. says

    I love making chicken salad variations. I would not have thought of putting these ingredients together but can imagine them being delightful. This will be on our Friday night picnic menu. Thinking of either serving it in a wrap or by itself with flour tortillas on the side.

  13. Tammy Jones says

    This looks yummy! I’m not sure about the avocados, but I’m willing to give them a try.

  14. Gra says

    I am very particular about chicken salad. This one I cannot wait to try. Thanks so much for the detailed outline of the maturation of avocados! I had no idea and generally bring home the wrong ones. Ready for a taste of heaven!

  15. Dawn McArtor says

    This looks great! I’m always looking for ways to ad
    Avacadoe and it will be a great light summer dinner with fresh fruit as a side!

  16. Sara says

    Wow! This looks amazing! We just got on the avocado train and now I can’t get enough! This is perfect! Thanks!

  17. Sandy says

    I love chicken salad and I am always looking for a different take on the traditional Southern recipe. This sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it on my family! Yum!

  18. DeAnna says

    Great job! I’m like you when it comes to cooking, I prefer to follow a recipe! Looks delicious. Love the last photo.

  19. Cheryl Beynon says

    I look forward to trying your recipe, Dawn. I like chicken salad, and my youngest LOVES avocado and corn! Thanks for sharing.

  20. max says

    Looks delicious and I myself am not a fan of chicken salad normally. May have to try this.

  21. Donna says

    This looks yum….I like the fresh, crunchy corn concept. =]
    Feel free to send us over a!

  22. Tracy says

    This looks delicious — and I love the avacado graphic. I am going to study it! :)

  23. Nancy says

    Of course your first original recipe would be southwestern. Too funny! It sounds yummy, i hope you win.

  24. says

    1 — I am sooo trying this.

    2 — I think this is probably Jillian-approved.

    3 — I think it’s fun that brilliant literary agent (and awesome chef) Bill Jensen is here in the comment box.

    Have a great day. I hope you win. :)
    Jennifer@GDWJ´s last [post] ..How to Answer Every “Why”

  25. says

    Wow! That looks fantastic. I love corn and red onion together, needed an excuse to try the cooking creams. Headed out to the store now to buy these ingredients to try for this weekend. Thanks :)

  26. Caroline says

    Dawn, you are so creative! Looks like a great recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  27. Sharon Camp says

    Sounds like a really good recipe to try. Coming from you I know it will be good.

  28. Valerie says

    This looks amazing. It is a neat twist on the classic. Cannot wait to try it out!

  29. Linda Godwin says

    This looks so good. I am anxious to try it. I have tried recipes with all the different Philadelphia cream cheese and have loved all of them

  30. Kerrie-Lee Britnell says

    I have put Philadelphia cream cheese on my grocery list and I look forward to trying this yummy looking recipe! The combination of ingredients sound wonderful. Soon to be a favourite, I am sure!

  31. says

    Oh my this looks delish! I adore making yummy sandwich type meals during the summer… Adding the ingredients to my shopping list. :)

  32. Amanda says

    Oh my… This sounds amazing!! Great for summer lunches! I’m not a fan of mayo, so chicken salad with cream cheese is perfect!

  33. Karin says

    I would have never thought to combine corn and avocado in a chic salad mix. I don’t eat chicken anymore but this recipe looks and sounds fabulous. I am going to substitute a mock chicken and try it this weekend. Lovely and just in time for the Memorial Day holiday! Thanks for submitting!

  34. Robin Echols says

    Wow! I love chix salad! Always eager to try a new recipe for it, too! Love the avocado add!

  35. Sarah says

    I might have to take this recipe to my family reunion this year! I’ve never thought of taking chicken salad to the southwest side of the US. Great idea!

  36. Adrienne Sharman says

    Great recipe to follow and it looks SO good! Definitely one to try!

  37. says

    That looks so yum and easy to make. Thanks for the avocado chart. I can never tell when they are ripe or not! Oh and that pic of your son looks professional! Good Luck on the contest.

  38. Valerie says

    Looks like a recipe worth trying although I will probably add some salt & pepper.

  39. Nickie says

    Oh my goodness, I CANNOT wait to make this recipe. I never thought to put Philadelphia cooking creme in chicken salad. Thanks!

  40. Shannon Smith says

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Loved the Avocado tip about ripened appearance, and the cute comment: “Don’t mash those lovely chunks of avocado!”

  41. Becki says

    Can’t wait to try it! And thanks for the helpful info on picking avocados!!!

  42. elizabeth holder says

    This sounds and looks delicious! Love the step-by-step photos, too. This is a recipe I will DEFINITELY try.

  43. Mandy says

    mmm… this looks delicious, Dawn! I’ll have to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Heather says

    I love trying new recipes and this one looks like it’s perfect for summer. Can’t wait to try it!

  45. Kim von Oepen says

    I love chicken salad and this looks like it is awesome. I will have to try it this
    weekend!! Thank you!

  46. MARY SLOAN says

    What a unique way to use uncooked corn. I love uncooked corn but everybody thinks I’m CRAZY . This receipe makes me seem legit. I love everything about it. Thank You, Mary

  47. Yvonne Cacy says

    2006, my entire home burned to the ground!! Lost all my great recipes!
    I lost everything!!! So the past 7 years my favorite past time is collecting great recipes! I cant wait to try this Southwest Chicken Salad. It’s perfect for a HOT summer day!!! Thank you sooo much for sharing this online.! I cook all the time with crème cheese…it is the perfect base for any home made white sauce! I will post results of what my grown adult kids think of this dish…Again I am grateful, Thank you! Have a Blessed Day!!

  48. Vikki says

    Loove avacados, and I’ve been looking for a chicken salad recipe. This one looks like a jackpot. Can’t wait to try it

  49. says

    Not only does this look good but it sounds really good. Going to pin it and try it out next week. Looking forward to tasting it.